2020 has been a year which has challenged businesses as no other has before. Organisations across the globe were, more or less simultaneously, required to enact their “worst case” scenario business continuity plans. Grocery retailers large and small saw an unprecedented surge demand, whilst local and national governments worldwide struggled to maintain essential services with a reduced workforce, and a population under lockdown.

Many businesses have not survived. Many more will surely follow in the difficult months ahead, as the global economy seeks to recover, as quickly as possible.

However, despite the pain the first half of 2020 brought, there were also glimmers of hope. From the heroics of our healthcare workers, to every day acts of kindness on our streets. Our communications and technology specialists mobilised armies of home workers overnight; our finance and accounting colleagues made sure people were paid, and our operational teams have ensured that services were, where possible, still delivered.

We have collaborated, as businesses, and as individuals like never before.

As we move into the second half of 2020 and adapt to the “new normal” of homeworking, virtual meetings, and a gradual return to ‘business as usual’, organisations are conscious of the increased exposure to risk and financial loss faced as a result of emergency measures implemented to respond to COVID-19.

To tackle some of the challenges the second half of 2020 presents, businesses worldwide are proactively conducting healthchecks with their suppliers, to ensure payments and receipts during this exceptional period, with staff almost universally working outside their usual processes / routines, are correct, and accounts have a clean bill of health moving forward.

At Audit Partnership we have seen an increase in enquiries from organisations looking for specialist experience to support them in this objective. The three primary areas businesses are looking to review are:

  • Accounts Payable: ensuring outgoing payments to suppliers have been made correctly, without duplication, and reconciling statements of account to ensure these are fully up to date.
  • Supplier Agreements: a detailed review of contractual terms and trade agreements to ensure agreed pricing, discounts and rebates and all other terms have been delivered as planned.
  • Data Integrity Review: a review of supplier data to identify areas of risk or atypical activity which could expose your organization to fraud or increased error potential.

Crucially, at a time when resources are limited, these services can be delivered wholly remotely, with minimal requirement from your internal teams. Any overpayment or under-receipt identified through these reviews will be managed by our specialist recoveries team on your behalf, with the recovered amounts will come directly back to your business.

Any one of the three reviews can be completed individually as standalone projects, or combined as a layered framework approach. Whichever option is right for your organisation, the data insights produced as a result of the analysis will be fed back to you, with actionable next steps on highlighted areas of weakness or risk to prevent future loss.

To discuss in more detail the challenges your business is facing, and how Audit Partnership can support you through the remainder of 2020 and beyond, please contact one of our customer managers at [email protected] and we will be happy to arrange an introduction.